February 3, 2013
J. Z. Young's Life of Vertebrates
Like the first reviewer I too was a student (in Zoology, graduated 1983) at University College London and remember a lecture given by Professor Young in the Lankester Theater in the old Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy on (if I remember correctly) the octopus nervous system. This was long after Prof. Young had left UCL (where he had been Professor of Anatomy 1945-1974) and was continuing research at the Welcome Institute. To us undergraduates in zoology it was a tremendous thrill to see the legend in person. We used a more recent American textbook (Pough et al.'s Vertebrate Life) for our vertebrate evolution course (taught by Prof. Kenneth Kermack and Mrs. Frances Mussett) but Young's classic was a recommended reference and we were familiar with the book. In spite of the passage of time Young's Life of Vertebrates will remain a classic and it is so nice to see it available as a free download on the Internet Archive. [Looking at the author's Acknowledgements and original Preface I feel privileged to have studied at University College under the Darwin scholar and bibliographer Richard B. Freeman, his wife Dr. Mary Whitear who studied the integument of lower vertebrates and Prof. Kenneth A. Kermack of Mesozoic mammals fame.]
April 9, 2010
ProfessorJ.Z. Young: "Life of Mammals
1) When I was a dental student at University College London. Professor Young was professor at the department of anatomy. I recall his lectures well.
So you will understand that I already have a high regard for Professor young.
I think this book is an excellent introduction to anyone wanting to understand anatomy through evolution.
In some places it is a bit dated: e.g.at the time this book was written the electroreceptor function of the ampullae of Lorenzini was not known
However it may be the only place you will find authoritative information on the developmental/segmental origin of the Cranial Nerves.